If you examine the personality traits of great meeting leaders, certain key qualities stand out. The goal of this and the subsequent two blog posts is not to teach you how to exhibit these traits, but rather to raise awareness of these powerful characteristics that are inherent among great leaders. While this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope it encourages you to perform an honest assessment of how you are showing up in these three important areas. Regardless of where you stand, we believe these characteristics will help you develop a new approach for managing your meetings.
The first personality trait of great meeting leaders is Humility.
Humility is a characteristic that is often overlooked and arguably undervalued in corporate America. But when it comes to leading great business meetings, humility is an important personal asset. It refers to a leader who is not compelled to demonstrate that he is the smartest person in the room, even when he is. Ironically, we see many cases where the smartest person in the room believes he possesses all the right answers and is ultimately a terrible listener.
In fact, humble leaders will allow themselves to ask the most basic questions to clarify an ambiguous comment and ensure attendees are being understood. The humble leader is comfortable letting everyone know that she doesn’t understand the jargon or acronyms flying around the room, or even if she does, she will take time to clarify for the benefit of others who might not understand.
The humble meeting leader is self-deprecating enough to ask for the most fundamental explanations and knows that his understanding will also increase the probability of other attendees’ understanding.
Humility is demonstrated in many different ways throughout the meeting process. It is an understanding that everyone in the room has an important role to play and deserves a voice (assuming you managed your attendance wisely). It is also a diligence in creating value for others by doing whatever is necessary to meet the objectives for the meeting while honoring and respecting stakeholders’ time.
Stay tuned for the next posting with Personality Trait # 2 – Confidence.